Namibia: Maren Richter to Curate First Windhoek International Biennale of Contemporary Art

MAREN Richter, a well-connected and internationally established curator based in Australia will arrive in Namibia tomorrow to curate the first Windhoek International Biennale of Contemporary Art (WIBCA), initiated by local visual artist Alfeus Mvula.

Richter is known for curating the main visual arts exhibition 'Valetta 2018, European Capital of Culture', in Malta and the first Maldives Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale. She will be visiting Namibia for 10 days to curate the WIBCA under the theme 'Public Arts'.

Mvula, who is the initiator of WIBCA and has been invited to exhibit his artworks at international biennale events, says WIBCA will be the first international art biennale to be hosted in Windhoek and the first with a focus on international contemporary public art in the SADC region.

With the event set to take place this Friday at different public places, WIBCA will exhibit and commission international and national artists, with a focus on public art - which is art that is happening or exhibited in a public space.

"Several places in and around Windhoek such as Avis Dam, the UN Plaza and Goreangab Dam will be selected to showcase artworks by selected artists and curated by a team of curators, led by Maren Richter," says Mvula, adding that site-specific activities and performances will take place during the duration of the biennale.

"WIBCA will put the Namibian and Windhoek art scene on an international map, to be known and recognised worldwide for its artists, art and art culture."

The WIBCA aims to connect the Namibian public with art, as well as Namibian artists with international contemporary artists and interested pupils from Namibia and abroad.

The objective is to generate academic dialogue for a diversity of academic fields, as well as promoting and supporting the local community, the SME sector as well as larger companies in Windhoek and Namibia.

"Due to an expected number of national and international visitors to the WIBCA, the tourism sector will also benefit from this event," says Tina Schönheit, one of the organisers.

The public is invited to join the discourse and to participate, as public spaces in and around the City of Windhoek will be temporarily, for the duration of the WIBCA, transformed into public art galleries.

These locations will be open to the public free of charge as this will add great value to the City of Windhoek and for its residents, and may contribute to the revaluation of abandoned or otherwise unused spaces.

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